Please select your home edition
Edition
Clipper Ventures
JOIN THE RACE JOIN THE 2019-20 RACE MAGAZINE DOWNLOAD THE OFFICIAL SOUVENIR RACE MAGAZINE Check out the latest photo galleries from The Clipper Race
UNICEF ABOUT UNICEF

Clipper 2019-20 Race 1 about to begin: London to Portimão

by Clipper Round the World 2 Sep 09:05 BST 1 September 2019
Clipper 2019-20 Race - London to Portimão © Clipper Race

After months and months of preparation, the Clipper 2019-20 Race is finally about to begin.

The first of 15 races will be from London to Portimão in Portugal. While the opening race may be short, with the fleet expected to arrive within six to eight days, it will certainly test over 200 men and women taking part in Leg 1.

After kicking off the circumnavigation with an impressive parade of sail along the iconic River Thames, taking in landmarks such as Tower Bridge and the Cutty Sark at Greenwich, the first challenge will be to negotiate numerous fast running tides around the UK and Northern France. The Bay of Biscay, notorious for violent storms and heavy seas, could prove challenging and teams will be eager to cross it quickly.

With the adrenaline-filled start over, teams will need to settle into watch systems quickly as they look to break ahead of the pack in the five day sprint to Portimão, Portugal.

While none of the teams have opted to play their Joker Card in Race 1, there is still an opportunity to earn some bonus points through the Scoring Gate and the Ocean Sprint.

The Scoring Gate is not a compulsory gate for the race but the first three yachts through the gate will be awarded three points, two points and one point respectively. It's position in the Bay of Biscay will have teams seriously debate whether or not to risk the light winds to go hunting for the extra points.

The Ocean Sprint will be another chance for extra points. The first three teams with the shortest elapsed time between the two designated positions will receive three points, two points and one point respectively.

Teams can also employ Stealth Mode once during each race. Stealth Mode will hide them from the rest of the fleet and is usually when tactically decisions are made. While the boat in Stealth Mode will be hidden from the rest of the fleet and the public, the Clipper Race Office will be in constant contact with those on board.

Marina de Portimão, in the heart of the beautiful Algarve region of Portugal, is making its debut as a Host Port in the Clipper 2019-20 Race.

The modern marina is set against the stunning backdrop of the of the São João do Arade Castle and Santa Catarina Fortress is known as the gateway to Europe and the Mediterranean. It offers one of the best boatyard facilities between Gibraltar and Madeira, and is also the last point of call for many boats preparing to cross the Atlantic.

The modern marina will provide the perfect first stopover for the Clipper Race crew, offering a chance to rest and recharge before beginning the first of their six ocean crossings - a 5,200nm race down the North and into the Southern Hemisphere to Punta del Este, Uruguay.

To learn more about the beautiful city of Portimão, see the Host Port page here.

You can follow every moment of the opening race through the Clipper Race Viewer. Be warned, it is additive!

Related Articles

Whitsundays Clipper Race Carnival tickets on sale
Race returns to the heart of The Great Barrier Reef The Whitsundays is set to come alive with festivities and fun when the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race returns to the Heart of The Great Barrier Reef in January 2020. Posted on 14 Sep
Clipper 2019-20 Race - Race 1 prizegiving
Punta del Este crowned winners of first race at sunset The first Prizegiving of the Clipper 2019-20 Race took place at the stunning Host Port of Marina de Portimão. Crew gathered to celebrate their achievements against an incredible backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean and a golden sunset. Posted on 11 Sep
The Clipper Race Leg 1 - Race 1, Day 7
Punta del Este wins race to Portimão in Portugal The Spanish Skipper of Punta del Este Skipper, Jeronimo Santos Gonzalez, used his local knowledge and, along with his crew, navigated the light winds off Portugal with precision to cross the finish line in first place at 00:45:22 UTC. Posted on 9 Sep
The Clipper Race surfs into Portimão
Punta del Este wins the first stage The winners of the first stage of the Clipper 2019-20 Race (Race 1) have crossed the finish line into Portimão. Punta del Este took line honours, after racing 1,200 nautical miles from London, arriving into the Algarvian city at 00:45:22 UTC. Posted on 9 Sep
The Clipper Race Leg 1 - Race 1, Day 6
Ocean Sprint results are in! Skippers reported boat speed records being broken with Nick Leggatt, Skipper of Zhuhai, saying: "We were still under reefed Main and Yankee 2 at the time, running downwind in a gale. Posted on 8 Sep
Clipper Race crew surf giant waves
The eleven team enjoyed a real thrill-ride off the coast of Portugal A crew of everyday people from all walks of life surf down giant waves off the coast of Portugal as they compete in the first stage of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Posted on 8 Sep
The Clipper Race Leg 1 - Race 1, Day 5
Thrill ride conditions as Ocean Sprint gets underway Wind speeds of over 40 knots with a swell of over four meters made for some of the most exhilarating downwind conditions that the professional skippers, and their non-professional crews, have faced. Posted on 7 Sep
The Clipper Race Leg 1 - Race 1, Day 3
The fleet waves goodbye to UK waters and enters calmer conditions The third day of racing has brought new sailing conditions, the wind has backed and the teams have left the challenging upwind conditions behind them for now. Spinnaker sailing once again is making for more joyful experience for the crew. Posted on 5 Sep
Hundreds of everyday people embark on Clipper Race
220 ordinary people from all walks of life departed St. Katharine Docks, London Some 220 ordinary people from all walks of life, representing 29 different nationalities, have departed St. Katharine Docks, London, in front of thousands of spectators, to embark on the twelfth edition of the epic 40,000 nautical mile global sailing Posted on 2 Sep
Tower Bridge lifts for Clipper Race departure
Thousands of supporters line the banks of St. Katharine Docks and the River Thames The sun shone on the thousands of supporters who lined the banks of St. Katharine Docks and the River Thames to witness the Clipper 2019-20 Race departure. Tower Bridge was lifted to mark the occasion and the eleven strong fleet paraded up the Thames Posted on 2 Sep